Would women rather "pop the question?"
Apparently not. With marriage proposals in the air around the new year, researchers at UC Santa Cruz report that both women and men tend to hold traditional views when it comes to marriage proposals.
Young adults were asked about their personal preferences for marriage traditions. Overwhelmingly, both men and women said they would want the man in a relationship to propose marriage. A substantial majority of women also responded that they would want to take their husband's last name.
In fact, not one of 136 men surveyed believed "I would definitely want my partner to propose" and not a single woman said she "would definitely want to propose."
"I was surprised at the strong the preference was," said Rachael D. Robnett, a doctoral candidate in psychology at UC Santa Cruz. Robnett surveyed 277 undergraduates ages 17 to 26. She found that a substantial majority believes strongly that a man should propose marriage and a woman should take her husband's name.
Robnett's findings are reported in "Girls Don't Propose! Ew" published in the January issue of the Journal of Adolescent Research. Robnett said she expected some preference for traditional engagement and marriage roles, but not at such a high level, particularly among young people. The survey was conducted in 2009-2010 among psychology majors or intended majors and was limited to heterosexual students.
"Given the prevalence of liberal attitudes among students at the university where data collection took place it is striking that so many participants held traditional preferences," she writes. "Even more surprising is that many participants overtly state that their preferences were driven by a desire to adhere to gender-role traditions."
Robnett said 68.4 percent of men answered, "I would definitely want to propose. Sixty-six percent of women answered "I would definitely want my partner too propose."
|Contact: Guy Lasnier|
University of California - Santa Cruz